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Surya - Key Observations – Microsoft Inspire 2017

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 Key Observations – Microsoft Inspire 2017

This was my 1st Microsoft Partner event – reinvented their previous WPC – it is now the biggest partner event in Microsoft’s history with >18,000 partners attending. Microsoft claims it has 64,000 partners & is adding 6,000 new ones each month – significant numbers. CEO Satya Nadella clearly articulated that Microsoft is a partner led company in which this growing ecosystem welcomes new partners & helps them thrive as part of this community – this defines us. Strong words for sure – this community appears to embrace that philosophy & exhibits extreme optimism that anything is possible. Great week, excellent meetings & unique networking opportunities – certainly inspirational.

Here are some observations from Microsoft Inspire 2017:

  • Digital transformation is happening & the opportunity is clearly significant – Microsoft believes there are 4 pillars to digital transformation - Modern Workplace, Business Applications, Applications/Infrastructure & Data - AI
  • Industry focus from Microsoft will provide improved more efficient partner support
  • Really felt that Microsoft is sincere that it is not about product attributes, but about telling compelling customer stories – I’ve always been laser focused on customers/partners so this resonated very well
  • Interest in Azure is really growing - individuals interested in Microsoft’s public cloud logged 1.2 million hours in Azure training during fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30. Cloud students spent 365,000 hours on Azure online training
  • Microsoft thinks very highly of Digital Transformation – it is an identified fiscal year priority & the channel is highly engaged – the new orientation is also helping push this agenda
  • Microsoft wants its channel partners to help customers implement GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation - the European Union’s bid to provide a common set of privacy protections across member nations which goes into effect May 2018

For Our Customers - Potential Service Area Improvements

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise - built on the foundation of the highly successful Secure Productive Enterprise, which grew seats by triple digits in the last year. Going forward, Microsoft 365 Enterprise replaces Secure Productive Enterprise to double-down on the new customer promise of empowering employees to be creative & work together, securely
  • Microsoft 365 Business – is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security & management features from Windows 10 & Enterprise Mobility + Security. It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business & simplify IT management

Microsoft made the case that there are four basic ways channel partners can help customers. They are re-envision their business model & engage their customers, empower their employees, optimize their operations & transform their products. Inspire 2017 exhibited great community & communication around these joint targets.

Microsoft gets it – Their Mission - reason we’re all here - to empower every person & every organization on the planet to achieve more

Be Proactive not Reactive – Are You Ready?

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Surya - Key Observations – ZertoCon 2017

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 Key Observations – ZertoCon 2017

This was my 1st ZertoCon event – billed as the premier business continuity & disaster recovery (BCDR) conference for hybrid cloud strategists – I found it to be energized, well evangelized, customer/partner/employee focused & very intimate - a great community. Approximately 750 attendees with a surprising global representation. Everyone here had a true love of the product – common comments included - amazing, lightning fast, ease of use, ability to easily test, continuously improving – this coupled with a genuine love of the company shared by all attendees truly stood out.

Here are some observations from ZertoCon 2017:

  • Zerto has 350 CSP’s in its network in addition to supporting AWS, Azure & other IaaS providers - Zerto CEO Ziv Kedem stated no one-size-fits-all cloud for customers. All are still wrestling with their cloud strategies - one commonality is that the end goal is more & more often not just business continuity, but IT resilience — the ability to bounce back from disasters like ransomware or a lost data center, but also to react swiftly to business-driven change, like moving a website to handle an unexpected spike in demand or facilitating M&A activity.
  • Vice President of Product Rob Strechay said that the company sees hybrid cloud environments becoming the norm for customers and that, in fact, Microsoft was all-in on developing the ability to do bidirectional migrations, including committing funding for the nine-month project, in response to customer demand – this is a key market differentiator.
  • To be clear, Zerto's goal is to have the same openness on all public & managed clouds, but for now, bidirectional migration is only on Azure.
  • All new functionality will be available via the API as well as the dashboard – easy, seamless.
  • Panel quote – “Customers don't care about the source of a disruption, they care about companies' ability to absorb impact" – echoed by attendees.
  • Excellent Partner Day - keynote from President Paul Zeiter – stated firm commitment to the channel & the phenomenal opportunity for partners with Zerto. Forrester analyst Stephanie Balaouras, Vice President, Research Director Serving Security & Risk Professionals, did an excellent presentation providing an overview of Zerto & the IT Resilience market. Next, Mariah West, Director Global Partner Marketing, did an outstanding job detailing to partners an in-depth roadmap on how to build their business with the Zerto Alliance Partner (ZAP) Program. Mariah was very helpful & insightful in several discussions I had with her - as a new partner, any & all questions were welcome as were insights & suggestions.

For Our Customers - Potential Service Area Improvements

  • Zerto Virtual Replication - capability to shift applications/data into & out of Microsoft Azure under existing licenses – this is an addition with significant implications for customers concerned with lock-in to a specific cloud provider. Due later this year with release 5.5., code-named Balvenie.
  • New Analytics Features - will enable ability to track trends in real time & generate historical views. – Also due later this year with release 5.5.

Zerto appears to be uniquely positioned as enterprises race to enhance resiliency across their application portfolio & accelerate their migration to cloud. Customers can accelerate & de-risk their critical business initiatives – like going mobile, transforming to cloud IT, or unlocking insights with analytics. Achieving business results that were previously unimaginable are now possible.

Zerto gets it – “Platform For Cloud” – Masters of Disaster & IT Resiliency!

Be Proactive not Reactive – Are You Ready?

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Surya - Key Observations – VeeamOn 2017

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Veeam On 17_Invitation.png Key Observations – VeeamOn 2017

This was my 1st VeeamOn event – found it to be exciting, collaborative, customer/partner focused & more intimate than larger ecosystem events – real sense of community. Tremendous growth YOY has caused an evolution of this signature event – approximately 3,000 attendees with a significant international component. In the past half dozen years, Veeam has become a market leader in the data protection space, adding 4000 customers a month & generating annual sales approaching $1B.

First released in 2008, Veeam has had excellent timing, providing an availability/protection solution designed for virtual machines as the IT industry shifted from physical to virtual servers.

Here are some observations from VeaamOn 2017:

  • Strong theme for this event – “availability for the always on enterprise”
  • Veeam CEO Change - promoted Peter McKay & Andrei Baronov to the position of co-CEOs, succeeding William H. Largent, who shifts to chairman of the finance & compensation committees. McKay was previously president and COO. Baronov previously was CTO
  • Announced a number of upgrades & additions with version 10 of the Veeam Availability Suite, which will be GA in Q3 of this year
  • 100 percent of the company’s revenue is partner-driven. Strategic alliances also will be key to that growth. Previously segmented between small & large companies by drawing a line at the 1,000 employee mark. But now, Veeam considers SMB is now 250 employees & below; the top 1,100 accounts are enterprise; and commercial is everything in between
  • Wants to grow from roughly $800 million now to $1B in 2018 then $1.5B in 2020
  • Strong emphasis now on service providers, as more of Veeam’s customers are using the cloud for the off-site part of their data protection infrastructure
  • Adding new features & functionality that their partner network (over 15,000 of which are CSPs offering cloud-based backup & DR) can sell as services in addition to selling software licenses & support
  • Announced a new Availability Console which enables service providers & distributed enterprises to deploy/manage Veeam services for virtual machines running on-site or in the cloud
  • Veeam is focused on displacing Veritas, Commvault, Dell EMC & MicroFocus for a $3 billion market share grab

For Our Customers - Potential Service Area Improvements

  • Veeam Agent for Windows - expands beyond Linux physical server support to provide support for physical Windows-based servers & laptops.
  • Veeam Availability Console - migrating, managing & protecting public cloud (AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc.)workloads, physical servers & endpoints 
  • Veeam vCloud Director Integration- includes adding direct restore to Azure, the ability to protect Amazon EC2 instances & policy-driven object storage support that includes Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Azure Blob & any S3/Swift compatible storage – greatly enhanced DRaaS capabilities.
  • Veeam Backup for Office 365 - adds support for SharePoint Online & OneDrive for Business, so companies can now recover documents as easy as they recover email - multi-tenancy, multi-repository & automation capabilities.
  • Continuous Data Protection (CDP) - for tier-1 application backup, continuous data protection (CDP), which enables lower RPOs.

By expanding their physical data protection support & by increasing customer/partner agility through stronger cloud support, Veeam appears to have strengthened their position in the enterprise data protection space. Veeam could potentially become a stronger player in the broader secondary data management space, if they continue to aggressively extend their data protection platform.

Veeam is unique - instead of launching its own cloud infrastructure, Veeam defers to partners to build & run their own clouds for end-customers. The idea is to deliver “to the cloud, from the cloud & within the cloud” business availability opportunities for all partners, instead of competing with them.

Veeam gets it – “Availability for the Always On Enterprise” is their passion & focus!

Be Proactive not Reactive – Are You Ready?

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Surya - Key Observations – ServiceNow Knowledge17

May 12, 2017 by Dion Gluck Uncategorized 0 Comments

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Key Observations – ServiceNow Knowledge17

This was my 1st ServiceNow Knowledge event – found it to be exciting, engaging & extremely customer/partner focused. Every ecosystem puts on a show of their own – in my experience, the unique networking & honest customer stories are always the best takeaways. Here are some observations on my “lightspeed” journey:

  • Customer Focus – 85% sessions, GE/Novartis Keynotes – ServiceNow really listens which is reflected in product roadmaps – CEO John Donahoe – “great customer experiences require engagement across functions” – key to “Lightspeed”
  • Automation & AI a key element in the future of the company - John pledging to “build, partner or buy whatever is necessary” in regards to machine learning
  • Partner Summit – evolving big time investment in ecosystem – partner with partners without competition
  • Dave Wright – keynote – Intelligent Automation –visionary & spot on – “enabling customers to achieve a quantum leap in the speed and economics of their business”
  • Ashley Haynes Gaspar – VP/GM Global Support GE – great insights – 10% Self Service Improvement Net GE $10’s Million Bottom Line – 1 Journey with 1 Set of Tools Reduces 95 Systems to 1 – amazing!
  • Keynotes by C J Desai, Farrell Hough & Sean Convery – excellent – detailed how to accelerate your enterprise to lightspeed with cloud services, the Now Platform & custom applications for every department & process
  • Announced Trusted Security Circles - cloud-based application gives enterprises the ability to share & receive hyper-relevant threat intelligence in near real-time - Secure & compliant - compliance certifications iso, soc, etc.
  • Non-stop cloud - cloud services - multi instance & scale
  • Upcoming release - few weeks - user experience & performance - Jakarta - expanded capabilities - shut door on 3rd party security risks - new vendor risk management
  • ITSM is core – always innovating – new asset management solution introduced
  • Employee self-service – easy access – new cloud management solution introduced
  • Consumerized employee service experience – name changes, promotions, etc. now seamless & easy
  • “Customer Service is a Team sport”
  • Striving & achieving to be effortless, connected & proactive across Enterprise

ServiceNow gets it – the evolution of “Enterprise @Lightspeed” is well underway!

Be Proactive not Reactive – Are You Ready?

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Surya - IoT – Crossroads of Digital Disruption?

March 06, 2017 by Dion Gluck IoT, Crossroads of Digital Disruption 0 Comments

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IoT – Crossroads of Digital Disruption?

The Internet of Things (IoT) opens up endless possibilities of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet in a giant network of linked people & objects.

We live in an age of unprecedented technological change. There has been more change in the last few decades than in the rest of the entire industrial age. Today, 5 billion people around the world are connected & that connectivity is transforming all that we do. More connections, more communication, more functionality & adaptive new behaviors are shaping the future.

IoT is already having a major personal, social & business impact by enabling radical innovations & new services that transform businesses as well as entire industries.

IoT is perhaps the key driver of Digital Disruption. Accelerating advances in technology such as advanced analytics, cloud computing, pervasive connectivity, product lifecycle management & embedded sensors transform every part of business seeking value in improving operations/lowering costs, creating new products/business models & driving superior engagement/customer focus.

According to McKinsey & Gartner, IoT represents enormous scale & impact…..

  • 25 Billion Installed IoT Devices by 2020
  • $3.6 Trillion Potential Economic Impact Per Year by 2020
  • 70% IoT value Created in Business to Business


 Exponential Technologies – Key IoT Enablers

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Connected Home
  • 3-D Printing
  • Encrypted Currencies
  • Mobile Payments
  • Wearables
  • Genomics
  • Sensors
  • Robotics
  • Drones
  • Connected Vehicles
  • 3-D Gaming & Entertainment

Disruptive Ideas Are Now Realities

The disruption from IoT will reshape our personal & business lives in a dramatic manner that is not fully imaginable or comprehensible by most companies today. At one end of the scale, it will displace routine, monotonous human jobs with machines. At the other, it will radically disrupt the competitive landscape, by giving early adopters tremendous advantages in terms of lower costs, better customer experiences & a significant lead in pursuing new business opportunities. While the full impacts of this disruption will not arise overnight, they will come a lot faster & sooner than most businesses are currently expecting.

Be Proactive not Reactive – Are You Ready?

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Surya - Dealing with Disruption - Is Digital the New Normal?

February 27, 2017 by Dion Gluck All Things Digital 0 Comments

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Dealing with Disruption - Is Digital the New Normal?

Digital no longer represents merely one component of a larger strategy. It is now foundational. It’s no longer a question whether or not digital avenues will be considered but a question of how.

The old normal - traditional business with a growing digital element - value chain flowed in a linear, predictable pattern.

Consumers drive the digital new normal - the value chain is no longer static/linear but fluid/multi-directional. Digital is the central driver of future operating models, consumer relationships & revenue growth.

Time – think it…do it – speed rather than perfection wins…..

Cost – fail fast, fail cheap is the best form of learning…..

Accessstandardization of access with global reach…..

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Disruption Is the New Normal

Few established businesses have a single view of the customer. Ignorance of the customer journey is no longer acceptable in the digital age. These knowledge gaps present opportunities for aggressive new entrants or born-digital disruptors to move in quickly with a more customer-centric, service-based approach.

Typical Disruption Barriers

  • Organizational Silos
  • Legacy Processes
  • Cultural Resistance to Change
  • Lack of Innovative Thinking
  • No Digital Leadership Capabilities

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 Potential Steps for Digital Success – Surya Can Help

  • Create Your Digital Strategy – Need To Expand Your Innovation Ecosystem & Outpace Change
  • Understand People Are More Important Than Technology – Promote Digital Mindset & Develop Competencies
  • Transform Legacy Systems, Processes & Attitudes – Inspired By Customers – Driven By Business

Final Thoughts

  • Digital Is A Strategy Involving Cultural & Technological Evolution
  • Digital Transformation Can Be Evolutionary, Incremental & Iterative

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Surya - What Is Digital Disruption?

February 20, 2017 by Dion Gluck Digital Disruption 0 Comments


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What Is Digital Disruption?

Digital Disruption is much more than improving efficiency within a business, it is essentially a transformation aided by emerging technologies, processes and business models to positively impact the value of an existing service or product. By connecting all the different parts of the business, greater working relationships can be formed with partners, customers, suppliers and even organizations typically seen as competitors.

The word disruption is used due to the disruptions this business transformation has on the current marketplace.

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To put it another way…..The effect of digital business models & technologies on value proposition and market position are distinctly distinguished from traditional competitive dynamics by velocity of change & high stakes.

Digital Disruption pulls everything toward the digital center, where everything that can be digitized, is……therefore, better, stronger, faster.

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Things are dramatically changing at a dramatic unprecedented pace. Per a study done by Cisco with their Global Center for Digital Transformation, this Digital Disruption will be exhibited in full force in 2018…..


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Digital Disruption can be seen as both a threat & an opportunity. On the one hand, the changes associated with new digital technologies unfold at a pace & scale that disrupt existing business practices as well as invalidate existing business models. On the other hand, digital technologies offer new opportunities for the creation of innovative business models for entrepreneurs to compete with established business practices in a wide range of industries.

However, most companies struggle in these four areas….

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We are on a journey of advising our customers on how to best prepare for Digital Disruption. Conceptually, please consider these critical components:

  • Think Systemically - Actively Promote Development of Digital Vision & Strategy
  • Engage with Customers
  • Create Innovation Teams - Invest in Digital Skills & Capabilities
  • Allow & Promote Experimentation - Culturally Embrace Collaboration, Innovation & Speed
  • Empower Your Employees

In summary, don’t be complacent. Keep testing, preparing & looking for opportunities. In a time of rapid & unpredictable change, it is better to be part of the disruption than a part of history

So, What’s Next?

Reach out to Surya if these are some of your concerns or challenges - let's start the conversation!

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Surya - What Is Digital Transformation?

February 13, 2017 by Dion Gluck Digital Transformation 0 Comments


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What Is Digital Transformation?

digital transformation 13.pngBecause digital transformation will look different for every company, it can be hard to pinpoint a definition that applies to all. However, in general terms, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it's a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.

Why Does Digital Transformation Matter?

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There are a number of reasons that a business may undergo digital transformation, but by far, the most likely reason is that they have to. It's a survival issue for many.

Every business should not only care about digital transformation for the sake of their company's survival, they should focus on securing company-wide support and collaboration to get digital transformation right – before they get disrupted by a competitor or a startup.

But even if business leaders don't believe they have to transform, there are many reasons why they should consider it anyway.

  • Their competitors are doing it
  • It will make them more profitable
  • It will make them more efficient

Their customers will thank them. Whether external customers, or internal employees, people have already largely adopted digital practices in all facets of their lives, from shopping online via their mobile devices to adjusting their home thermostat remotely. They are waiting for businesses to catch up.

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What Does A Digital Transformation Framework Look Like?

Although digital transformation will vary widely based on organizations' specific challenges and demands, there are a few constants and common themes among existing case studies and published frameworks that all business and technology leaders should consider as they embark on digital transformation.

For instance, these digital transformation elements are often cited:

  • Customer Experience
  • Operational Agility
  • Culture and Leadership
  • Workforce Enablement
  • Digital Technology Integration

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What Role Does Culture Play In Digital Transformation?

In recent years there has been a fundamental shift happening in the role of IT. No longer are companies building software or running IT for cost savings and operations, but rather IT has become the primary driver of business innovation. Embracing this shift requires everyone in the company to rethink the role and impact of IT in their day-to-day experience.

Although IT will play an important role in driving digital transformation strategy, the work of implementing and adapting to the massive changes that go along with digital transformation falls to everyone. For this reason, digital transformation is a people issue.

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What Drives Digital Transformation?

An important element of digital transformation is, of course, technology. But often, it's more about shedding outdated processes and legacy technology than it is about adopting new tech. Examples like these span all industries, and the prevalence of legacy technology hinders CIOs' ability to successfully embark on a digital transformation strategy.

If businesses want to evolve with the rapid pace of digital change today, they must work to increase efficiency with technology wherever possible. For many, that means adopting agile principles across the business.

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Digital transformation is a massive undertaking, especially for larger, established companies. When done right, it will result in a business that is more aligned with customer demands and resilient in the fast-moving digital future.

So, What’s Next?

Reach out to Surya if these are some of your concerns or challenges - let's start the conversation!

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Surya - Disaster‐Recovery‐as‐a‐Service (DRaaS) with Zerto

December 07, 2016 by Dion Gluck 2 Comments


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Surya - DisasterRecoveryasaService (DRaaS) with Zerto

Cloud‐based disaster recovery has become the standard for companies looking to protect digital assets. But not every cloud is created equal. Expertise & experience are key to a successful DR plan.

What is Surya DRaaS with Zerto?

Surya integrates with Zerto to provide cloud‐based Disaster‐Recovery‐as‐a‐Service (DRaaS) that replicates VMs at the hypervisor level from your data center (or office)  to the secure, global AWS cloud.

This allows you to keep an up-to-date copy of your virtualized applications —  recovering & testing them as needed. This unique small‐footprint technology delivers exceptional results when married with the strength of Surya's advanced security features, value added services, and world class customer support. Surya's DRaaS with Zerto offers increased flexibility & boosts your ability to test recovery with recovery time and recovery point objectives that are tailored to your business needs.

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Why Choose Surya DRaaS with Zerto?

Unique Differentiated Expertise

With over eight years’ experience delivering DRaaS, we both efficiently & effectively deploy standard solutions – and have architected specific enhancements for almost every use case.  Surya works with you to identify network configurations, ensure security/compliance requirements & bring the necessary level of comfort with the solution.

Accelerate Recovery Time

Once you declare a disaster the Surya DRaaS solution can fail over in less than an hour.  Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) can be further tailored by tiering workloads (achieving RTOs in minutes in many cases). With its continuous replication technology, Zerto enables recovery point objectives of mere minutes (with tiering, this can be measured in seconds), ensuring very little is lost in the failover. 

Advanced Security & Compliance

Most organizations are first concerned about downtime due to a disaster. But, once the workloads are stable in the cloud, attention turns to their security & compliance. The Surya platform ensures that workloads are safe, secure & compliant – and that you seamlessly have access to all the reporting on those workloads.

Seamless Fallback

Another key challenge with disaster recovery solutions is the ability to fail back to the primary site in a seamless fashion. With the Surya Zerto solution — fail back is a key part of the test plan — and you can be confident that once your physical site is ready again, fail back will occur without issue.

Any Time DR Testing

The only way to ensure your DR plan will work in the event of real disaster is regular testing. With Surya DR services with Zerto, you get the flexibility to test your plan as needed.  Appropriate reporting is generated with each test, that can be filed for your organization's audit requirements.

Exceptional Customer Support

Every Surya customer has access to 24x7 support from our certified technicians. Our team will ensure you are rapidly deployed, testing successfully & fully comfortable with your DRaaS solution. And, in case of a disaster, our team is available to trigger a failover, if needed, at any time — ensuring continuity of your business.

So, What’s Next?

Reach out to Surya to learn more about our cloud‐based disaster recovery offerings & how they can help protect your business.

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